I'm visiting NYC this week. I've come to US thinking hard whether or not I want to buy a MacBook Pro. I decided that yes, I do. Now I changed my mind. Why?
I wanted to do a couple of things. Use employee discount, pay with my Irish card, and I absolutely required a European-style keyboard layout. This last thing is the ultimate reason why I decided to skip it.
Apple is excellent if you are an average customer. Walk into one of the stores (there's one 5 minutes of walk from me), pick up what you want, walk out happy. I could have done that. I can still do that. I don't want to.
First, I want my discount. It saves me
a non-insignificant an interesting amount of money. I doubt I can apply the discount from within the store. [UPDATE: Americans love to apply sales tax AFTER quoting you the price. So my total savings are a bit less than expected. Still, they exist. And my estimates include Irish VAT, because I'm nice like that. Smugglers would really save a lot.]
Second, I want a European-style keyboard (British at the very least). I have a US layout wireless keyboard, and if I switch to Croatian layout in software, I cannot type < and > on it.
Turns out that Apple does not stock laptops with different layouts in their stores. Turns out that I need to wait 1-3 business days for them to build the custom laptop (!!!) and then another 1-3 business days for them to expedite-ship it. Oh you want standard shipping? 3-5 days. You dared to desire to pick it up at the store (which should actually be easier for them)? Well, feelin' bad for you buddy — it's as if you picked standard shipping.
Maybe you wanted to pay with your Irish card? No go — they want your billing address phone number to be a US number, and your billing address zip code to be a US zip code and a US address.
Especially if you include the fact I'd need to deal with Irish customs people as well, that's enough divine signs telling me I should skip this purchase. Maybe I change my mind, but I doubt it.
What kind of bullshit is not stocking some British-layout MBPs somewhere in NYC? What kind of bullshit is "it takes 1-3 days to replace a keyboard"? With minimum training, it could be done in-store, even if you couldn't stock 2 variants in each store. They don't sell often enough? Don't keep 50 of them, but do keep 2 of them.
And I was so looking forward to a Mac with a decent GPU.